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New IRS Guidance Clarifies that Forgiven PPP Costs are Not Deductible


On April 30, 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-32, providing further guidance on the deductibility of certain otherwise deductible expenses for federal income tax purposes. Specifically, the notice clarifies that no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a covered loan pursuant to section 1106(b) of the CARES Act.

In other words, allowable expenses under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) such as payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities will not be deductible for federal tax purposes to the extent of the resulting PPP forgiveness, since such payment is allocable to tax-exempt income. Section 265(a) of the IRC disallows a deduction for amounts that are otherwise deductible if the amounts are allocable to one or more classes of tax-exempt income. The IRS has concluded that the CARES Act exclusion from income for forgiven PPP loan amounts results in a “class of exempt income” and the otherwise deductible expenses are thus disallowed under IRC Section 265(a).

Remember, one of the most attractive features of the PPP loan was the potential for forgiveness on a tax-free basis. While the IRS has maintained their position on forgiveness excludable from taxable income, the disallowance of the PPP expenses has essentially put the taxpayer back into a “net zero” position for tax purposes. The bottom line for taxpayers is this Notice confirms they would have been in the same position had the IRS chosen to tax the forgiveness income and allow the deductions in the first place. 

If you need any clarification on the details of PPP loans or other provisions of the CARES Act, please contact your CironeFriedberg professional. 

We are focused on your success. If you need assistance or have any questions about the information shared in this newsletter, please call your CironeFriedberg professional. You can reach us by phone at (203) 798-2721 (Bethel), (203) 366-5876 (Shelton), or (203) 359-1100 (Stamford), or email us at

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CironeFriedberg, LLP
CironeFriedberg, LLP
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(203) 798-2721
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Our firm provides the information in this e-newsletter for general guidance only, and does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, investment advice, or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal, or other competent advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation. Tax articles in this e-newsletter are not intended to be used, and cannot be used by any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding accuracy-related penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The information is provided "as is," with no assurance or guarantee of completeness, accuracy, or timeliness of the information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including but not limited to warranties of performance, merchantability, and fitness for a particular purpose.
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